CIVIL AVIATION LICENSING MEETING SET FOR MAY
The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authoritys licensing committee will meet in May to consider a number of new and renewal applications, aimed to add extra capacity into the market and uphold competition.
According to data availed by a regular source in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania presently has nearly 60 licensed air operators, most of which are operating few aircraft and offer charter services only.
While no details could be ascertained on the new applications, if for charters or scheduled flights, 5 such applications will be heard for Aerovista Tanzania, Cicada Aviation, Shine Aviation, Neos and Zulu Air Tanzania.
Also on the list of applications are two more for ground handling while 15 renewal applications from existing operators are due to be considered.
Tanzania is after Kenya the second busiest East African Community member state in terms of licensed air operators and aircraft registered but is thought to have a large growth potential considering the vast distances travelers have to cover in what is the EACs largest country. Largest airline is Precision Air, now quoted on the Dar es Salaam stock exchange but a number of other airlines, amongst them Coastal Aviation, play an equally important role in particular with their flights into the national parks.
In line with EAC resolutions has Tanzania in recent years embarked on a number of rehabilitation and expansion projects of the main airports, secondary airports, aerodromes and airfields to provide an infrastructure boost for the aviation industry through newly resurfaced and lengthened runways and state of the art passenger terminals. Watch this space for regular and breaking news from East Africas aviation sectors.
Archive for April 27th, 2012
CIVIL AVIATION LICENSING MEETING SET FOR MAY
PRESIDENT BLASTS TOURISM BOARD
President Museveni used a meeting held at State House Entebbe earlier in the week to discuss his presidential tourism initiative to lay heavily into the strategy and mindset of the Uganda Tourism Board, which he accused of making mistakes, claiming it lacks seriousness and originality.
UNDP has been searching for a consultant to help UTB develop a new outlook, marketing strategy and policy for the coming years, due to start work by the end of April, but considering that tourism organizations in neighbouring Kenya and Rwanda, even as far as the Seychelles, came up with award winning strategies in house, it is a telling sign that the countrys president needs to spell out what has been an open secret in the corridors of the tourism industry in the country.
The president minced no words when he mocked UTB as the Uganda Temporarily Board, accusing them of killing tourism instead of promoting it.
In fairness though, and here several key stakeholders felt that all the facts should be looked upon in subsequent conversations and mails, it is government after all which has kept UTB on a hamstrung budget, barely enough to meet recurrent expenditure, with hardly enough money to attend a handful of tourism events abroad, unlike the countrys main competitors which attend tourism trade shows, hold road shows and cram events around the world.
It was also pointed out to this correspondent that neither the existing tourism policy nor the existing tourism law have been fully implemented, with special mention of the tourism levy which was meant to help finance a re-organized UTB and allow it to effectively compete on level terms with its main competitors.
Said a regular source: The tourism board had this coming for a while, because they are like a rudderless ship or a ship without captain. But government is as much at fault. They appointed the tourist board chief, they appointed the board members and they the same government starves the institution of money. They have been doing some one off events in the past and made a lot of fuss about it but what is required is consistency. None of those past activities has seen any follow up and the action, and the money spent, like a few years ago on a CNN campaign, just evaporated. You keep writing about Seychelles and how they have reversed the rot of a few years ago, and I can only go by what you wrote, but it seems they are doing a lot better by engaging with the media, with airlines, with the private sector and they are succeeding. Kenya is also a good example, their KTB is everywhere something happens and so is Rwanda. If I compare ourselves with the biblical figures who got the talents to work with, we put our talents and opportunities into a dark corner instead of turning them in to profit. We have too many attractions, too many unique sights, the lake, the rivers, the mountains and all and yet, the world looks on us like a gorilla destination only. Others have diversified, we have not lived up to our potential. The Lonely Planet made us the worlds top destination for 2012, this year it is the 50th anniversary of our Independence, and where are we with the preparations. If anything happens it seems to be a state secret but we more suspect that little unique and creative is coming from it. UTB needs change, UTB needs money, the Ministry needs money but our government is big in lip service and very small in funding the sector.
Harsh words from the President and a critical view from a key stakeholder who attended the meeting at State House, but echoed by a number of others since. Quo Vadis Uganda Tourism time to own up, shape up or ship out? Time will tell which way to go, but it has to happen fast as the October 09th Independence Day is now only just over 5 months away. Watch this space.
AIR SEYCHELLES BENEFITS FROM ETIHAD LINK
The linkage between Air Seychelles and Abu Dhabis national airline Etihad is starting to bear fruits as from the beginning of May new, initially wet-leased aircraft, will come on line for Air Seychelles.
The twice weekly flights between Mahe and Mauritius will be operated from 02nd May on an Etihad Airbus A320, the aircraft type eventually expected to join the Air Seychelles fleet for good, when crew training has been completed and the range of added destinations been determined, which is still undergoing final analysis.
The longer haul flights to Johannesburg will in May be operated by an Etihad Airbus A330-200 as will the flights between Mahe and Abu Dhabi, where Air Seychelles has been using their B767-300 under a code share arrangement with Etihad.
A regular source in Victoria has indicated that by latest end of May more clarity will have been achieved over the way forward for Air Seychelles in regard of the type and number of aircraft they will operate in the future, as well as on new destinations, in particular a potential nonstop flight from Mahe to China, which has turned into the fastest growing market for the archipelago.
Etihad earlier in the year took a 40 percent stake in Air Seychelles and seconded a management team comprising the CEO and CFO to the airline, after a deal was struck on political level between President James Michel and the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Al Nahyan, who enjoy a personal friendship which led to this extraordinary bail out at the time. Watch this space as more news become available.